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The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

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Gonefishing

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostSun May 07, 2017 2:01 am

The Echo does get spammed (to an extent that its points allow) - but I don't think that's because its over powered? It's more to do with the fact that a lot of the other PHR stuff is underpowered, and perhaps more importantly - it has an ok forward fire option (which gets better when grouped). Honestly, I cant even conceive of how to use the PHR without frigates and echoes as (with a few exceptions) their cruiser classes just seem a waste of time - the PHR are a frigate navy at the moment and the Echo fits into that so it gets used. I think the main competing build at the moment is Troopship spam (and just forgetting about the space fight in favour of dropping as much as possible while your still alive, but ignoring the actual space fight does not really appeal to me as a game - so I use Echoes...without the option of them I probably wouldn't use PHR).

But its not overpowered as is, and taking multiple echoes does have issues - it cant active scan, it cant claim critical objectives, If an Enemy ship blows up anywhere near them you can lose the entire squadron pretty easily and they aren't fantastic atmosphere fighters like other corvettes (they are just slightly more versatile out of atmosphere). It's also 32 points (Frigate cost for most other navies) and taking 10 of them is a significant part of your list, that isn't able to fill any mission victory parameters other than fighting - it's not "that" spamable for the cost. It's selling point is it can move forward and fight and for the PHR that makes a BIG difference as its one of only a few PHR ships that can do this, and an even fewer number of PHR ships that can actually do that well (if you have a squadron of them) - but its far from overpowered its just good.

If the Echo is changed, then personally I think that should only happen as part of a (needed) overhaul of the entire PHR fleet - but if this happened I think the Echo could probably be left alone anyway, as if more of our cruiser choices were viable you would naturally see less Echoes on the table considering their cost.
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Aylw

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostSun May 07, 2017 4:47 pm

The Echo is priced at Frigate-level. It's unique in that unlike the other corvettes, it's useful outside of atmosphere - making it something like a frigate of other factions (and prices similarly), performing double duty for (supposedly) a price premium.

I'm not convinced the forward gun is a problem. In this instance, you're saying it is better than equivalent Frigates. Is it the stealth that is the problem? I'm just not seeing it as that big of an issue.

Is it the atmospheric damage? The atmo damage is pretty close to the other corvettes. Point for point, are echoes really beating other corvettes?

So while not particular stand-outs in either arena, perhaps it's the fact they can do both? Not having seen spam of Echoes, perhaps it's the fact that Echo spam IS viable, because before you are ready to clear out atmo, they are not 'dead points', being able to fire in low orbit, and then once they're done with clearing out strike carriers, they can contribute significantly to the space battle?

That is a lot of efficiency that other ships (frigates & corvettes) don't have, but it will likely manifest only if the Echoes win the atmosphere battle ( hence why those of us who haven't seen Echo spam haven't really seen why Echoes seem OP to others). The problem then boils down to Efficiency, not a 'broken tactic'.

If that's the case, I'm not sure you need to add special rules - the dual-role is the POINT of the echo - you just need to tone down the efficiency of the Echo, which is easy. Just change the points cost. 32 point Echoes make them firmly in the points cost of other faction's frigates, modifying their point-for-point efficiency down 6.6%. If they're still too good (Maybe? I haven't seen them be an issue personally), 33 point Echoes would be a 10% efficiency decrease. I'd be surprised if that wasn't enough.
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Major Awesome

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostMon May 08, 2017 4:27 pm

The problem I see with the Echo is the orbital firepower it can put out when it gets both the CAW and turret on something. It far, far, outperforms other corvettes, and even outperforms some frigates when it shoots the turret + CAW at something. It has the added advantage of being able to duck into atmo to survive reprisal... while simultaneously killing strike carriers in atmo.

My suggestion would be to add Alt-1 to each weapon, so that it doesn't get so many attacks against orbital targets.
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Gonefishing

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostMon May 08, 2017 11:33 pm

I can't see its needed - yes its versatile, but its Atmospheric ability is already less than that of other Corvettes (the guns aren't AA), and in orbit the gun is good (but not overpowered - its a 4+ lock) and the extra CAW shots only apply within 8" (and even then with the guns and Caw combined its pumping out a lot less shots than some Caw Pack frigates at a similar price) - and as it only has 2 DP if you stray within 6" when firing your CAW and score a kill your only a couple of good dice rolls away from losing the whole squad in the resulting explosion. Its good - but its not overpowered and it already has weaknesses.

Its one of the very few ships PHR have that isn't Broadside dependant, and that's why it gets the nod over other ships - so all things considered I would rather leave it alone. If it does have to be changed I would be more in favour of a points rise than a profile change, because even a small change could make it pointless - but at the moment its just right imo (including points).
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Orchaldor

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostWed May 10, 2017 3:37 pm

Just a thought - if the ability of the Echo to damage cruisers (and above) is considered to be a key complaint (as per J.D's original post), how about changing the front turret to Light Calibre guns?

If you keep it at 2 shots, but with Lock 5+ and the Calibre (Light) rule, you reduce the Echo's effectiveness against bigger ships, while being exactly as effective as it is now against its natural prey of corvettes/strike carriers/frigates.

I think this would help reduce the risk of accusations of "OP corvette spam" that saw the Glass amended (although less of a risk compared to the Glass due to the cost per ship), by keeping the Echo focused on interdiction of enemy light assets, rather than trying to do everything.
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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostWed May 10, 2017 5:48 pm

Orchaldor wrote:Just a thought - if the ability of the Echo to damage cruisers (and above) is considered to be a key complaint (as per J.D's original post), how about changing the front turret to Light Calibre guns?

If you keep it at 2 shots, but with Lock 5+ and the Calibre (Light) rule, you reduce the Echo's effectiveness against bigger ships, while being exactly as effective as it is now against its natural prey of corvettes/strike carriers/frigates.

I think this would help reduce the risk of accusations of "OP corvette spam" that saw the Glass amended (although less of a risk compared to the Glass due to the cost per ship), by keeping the Echo focused on interdiction of enemy light assets, rather than trying to do everything.



You going to fix all the other PHR ships while you do that?
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Major Awesome

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostWed May 10, 2017 8:18 pm

Orchaldor wrote:Just a thought - if the ability of the Echo to damage cruisers (and above) is considered to be a key complaint (as per J.D's original post), how about changing the front turret to Light Calibre guns?

If you keep it at 2 shots, but with Lock 5+ and the Calibre (Light) rule, you reduce the Echo's effectiveness against bigger ships, while being exactly as effective as it is now against its natural prey of corvettes/strike carriers/frigates.

I think this would help reduce the risk of accusations of "OP corvette spam" that saw the Glass amended (although less of a risk compared to the Glass due to the cost per ship), by keeping the Echo focused on interdiction of enemy light assets, rather than trying to do everything.



I like this idea as well.

It allows them the exact same firepower against light targets they have now, while also reducing their firepower against cruiser-level targets which has felt problematic to some.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostWed May 10, 2017 10:00 pm

Reducing the turret to light calibre isn't a good idea, in my opinion. Beyond the fact that Dave is very precise with the measurements of all the weapons (the Echo's gun is the same dimensions as normal medium guns, for example), it feels like too much of a change compared to the much simpler "reducing its attack value down to 1".

It makes sense in all honesty; the cruiser turrets have 3 barrels and 2 attacks, and so the corvette turret, which has 2 barrels, should have 1 attack.
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Gonefishing

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostWed May 10, 2017 11:53 pm

For the record, I don't think there is any reason to change the Echo from its current profile. Its a good ship, priced appropriately for its abilities, and not remotely overpowered.

That said, if it is changed - it should not be done in isolation but as part of a wider review of PHR, because I think they are currently the weakest faction. The price and Profile of the current Echo (combined with its weaknesses) do not lend themselves to a "spam Echo" build. The reason it get's picked in numbers is that a lot of the alternatives ships you could spend those points on aren't particularly viable choices (unless your playing the ground assets spam game), so the Echo shines brighter in relation to its competition.

Make the rest of the fleet better - face less Echoes, nerf the Echo and leave the rest of the fleet as is and you will just end up facing less PHR.
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J.D. Welch

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Re: The PHR Echo -- The new "Problem Child"?

PostThu May 11, 2017 6:15 am

Major Awesome wrote:
Orchaldor wrote:Just a thought - if the ability of the Echo to damage cruisers (and above) is considered to be a key complaint (as per J.D's original post), how about changing the front turret to Light Calibre guns?

If you keep it at 2 shots, but with Lock 5+ and the Calibre (Light) rule, you reduce the Echo's effectiveness against bigger ships, while being exactly as effective as it is now against its natural prey of corvettes/strike carriers/frigates.

I think this would help reduce the risk of accusations of "OP corvette spam" that saw the Glass amended (although less of a risk compared to the Glass due to the cost per ship), by keeping the Echo focused on interdiction of enemy light assets, rather than trying to do everything.



I like this idea as well.

It allows them the exact same firepower against light targets they have now, while also reducing their firepower against cruiser-level targets which has felt problematic to some.

From a Rules (& Function) perspective, this makes a lot of sense to me.

From a model perspective, I don't think it matters all that much. To me, that's much less of a consideration than getting the balance of the ship-in-the-game correct...

And Gonefishing, I know how much you like the Echo, but within 8" it's just too powerful, not one by itself, but because you can bring three in a squad for just 90 points. It should be a threat to Strike Carriers and other corvettes, not so much to cruisers... A squad can seriously hurt a cruiser, like a Troopship, and then submerge into Atmo and be very difficult to kill in return. And you can't popcorn the squad by simply killing one -- its like the Voidgate was when it was 3 Hull, too powerful and difficult to eliminate the entire threat that the squad represents...

And the rest of the fleet is better now -- use Course Change, who cares if you take a spike, you're PHR! ;)
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